Six litres of water to brew one litre of beer? That should be possible with less!

Flemish Minister for the Environment Joke Schauvliege has closed a "Green Deal" with nine breweries. The brewers commit themselves to reduce water consumption in beer brewing by 2022.

To brew beer you need water, but not only for the beer itself. The beer must be put in barrels and bottled later, and those containers must be cleaned, the brewing installations must be rinsed and cooling is needed. All this requires a huge amount of water: six litres of water per litre of beer.

Nine Belgian brewers promise that they will work together to reduce that water consumption, and exchange knowledge to do so. But they also expect the government to be accommodating, because today the brewers have to clean their bottles with drinking water.

They could do the same with recycled water, according to the Flemish Environment Agency (VMM). The better quality drinking water can then be used entirely to brew delicious beer, because we need to start using that drinking water more sparingly.

Nine breweries take part in this initiative: AB InBev, Alken-Maes, Cornelissen, De Halve Maan, Duvel Moortgat, Haacht, Het Anker, Huyghe and Verhaeghe-Vichte. Schauvlieghe calls on other breweries to also participate: "Intelligent and conscious use of water is recommended for every brewery."